The History of Othello

January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Theatre
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The History of Othello Shaneé Sullivan

In Breif  A.K.A.

The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of

Venice  Based on a Italian short story: Un Captiano Moro (A Moorish Captain)  Centered around four themes: love, jelousy, racism, and betrayal

Performance History Has not been a decade when Othello was not staged (except during the time of commonwealth)  First known performances of Othello was in 1604 in WhiteHall for King James VI (Richard Burbage as Othello)  Other performances include royal performances in honor of King James VI’s daughter in 1613 and many performances in the Globe, Blackfriars Theatre and at the Hampton Court from 1610-1636 

Performance History Commonwealth collapse (1660) Charles II reopened theatres  Charles II a royal warrant stating that only women should play the parts of women; that year Margaret Huges (Desdemona) and this prologue was written for the occasion: 

“ I saw the lady dressed. The woman plays today: mistake me not; No man in gown, or page in petticoat;

A woman to my knowledge, yet I can't (If I should die) make affidavit on't.'

Edits In the 1700’s Othello was molded to fit the style and expectations of the period (offensive speeches were removed from the play)  In the 18th century, Othello’s character was molded to fit traditional hero standards (lines were cut from the play to mask Othello’s rougher character flaws) 

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Desdemona and Cassio in bed Othello’s Epileptic Fit Lines from the Willows Song

Character History 

Othello 

Richard Burbage- First to play Othello

  

Edmund Kean- Normally played Iago Ira Aldridge- first black actor to play Othello in England Paul Robeson- first black actor to play Othello in USA

Henry Irving and Edwin Boothalternated roles of Othello/ Iago Orson Welles James Earl Jones Patrick Stewart- portrayed the Moor as a white man and other characters were black actors

Lawrence Fishburne

Othello in Different Genres 

Opera  

Film   

Orson Welles (1952) "O“ Othello (1995)

Television  

Gioacchino Rossini- No handkerchief, Iago was a reject admirer Giuseppe Verdi's- closer to Shakespeare’s text, cut from 3500 lines to 800 lines, left out act 1

Othello (PBS) Sanford and Son

Ballet 

José Limón- The Moor's Pavane (1949) John Neumeier- Othello (1985)

Fun with Othello  Othello


Works Cited 

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